May 12, 2016
By Christine Cole, Corespondent
LEESBURG — When Kathryn Wheeler talks about the spring performance of her students at the Mount Dora School of Ballet Saturday and Sunday, she mentions the ballet they will present, “Coppelia,” was cast to illustrate the progress of the dancers and the achievements of the older students.
“Annika Slaby will attend the summer program of the Ellison Ballet,” Wheeler said. “It’s her dream Summer Intensive. Admission to the intensive is very competitive. Annika has made the decision to work her hardest for a professional career.”
Carolyn Bakich will enter the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet. Last year, she was offered a place in the year-round professional training program, but she turned it down to stay one more year with friends, family and fellow ballet students. Carolyn is another step closer to her dream of dancing professionally.
They have a closeness that Wheeler knows all too well.
“I don’t teach the little ones anymore,” she said. “But I did when we first opened. I taught Carolyn since she was 4 years old, so it’s hard to see them go.”
Amanda Lily Kountanis will return to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Connecticut, where she again was given the rare privilege of a scholarship.
“She didn’t even have to audition,” Wheeler said. “They called her.”
Meredith Obispo and Anna Scott Clendinen will attend the Indiana Ballet Conservancy. Victoria Bell will return to the Joffrey Ballet in New York. Madison Yates will attend Ballet Magnificat.
“Coppelia” concerns a toymaker, a beautiful automated doll he creates and the young man who falls in love with the doll.
Tickets for the weekend performances at 3 p.m. are $20 and will be sold at the door of the Paul P. Williams Auditorium of Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441.
The Mount Dora School of Ballet is located at 4280 County Road 19A, Suite 4, in Mount Dora.
For more information, call 352-357-5536.